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20,000 evacuated as Philippine volcano oozes lava

Posted by Lindy on December 15, 2009

By JIM GOMEZ (AP) – 6 hours ago (as of 17.00 UK time)

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities moved thousands of villagers from harm’s way near the Philippines’ most active volcano Tuesday after it oozed lava and shot plumes of ash, and said they probably would spend a bleak Christmas in an evacuation center.

State volcanologists raised the alert level on the cone-shaped, 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) Mayon volcano overnight to two steps below a major eruption after ash explosions and dark orange lava fragments glowing in the dark trickled down the mountain slope.

Nearly 50,000 people live in a five-mile (eight-kilometer) radius around the mountain, and authorities began moving thousands of them in case it erupts, Albay provincial Gov. Joey Salceda said.

More than 20,000 people were evacuated to safety by nightfall Tuesday, Salceda said, adding he has placed central Albay province, where Mayon is located, under a “state of imminent disaster,” which will make it easier for him to draw and use emergency funds.

“Whatever the volcano does, our target is zero casualty,” Salceda told The Associated Press.

Full report : here – watch this space for further news

For fantastic pictures of what an active volcano looks like as it is preparing to… who knows what? Go here


One Response to “20,000 evacuated as Philippine volcano oozes lava”

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